Sweden’s development agency will finance a 20 million-euro ($22-million) fund to develop clean energy in Zambia through 2018.
The Vienna-based Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership said it will also work with Power Africa and other partners to roll out the project. The program will probably focus on off-grid solar systems in the first year, according to John Tkacik, spokesman for REEEP. It plans to install small hydro power plants and mini-grids later on.
“There’s an interesting possibility to eventually expand beyond Zambia,” Tkacik said by phone. Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo are potential next markets, he said.
REEEP will implement the projects and be responsible for the contracting. Power Africa, an initiative set up by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2013 to boost electricity access, will provide an advisory role. The Swedish embassy in the Zambian capital of Lusaka will help with collaboration and local government relations.
The group aims to bring renewable electricity supplies to 167,000 households, reaching 1 million people. About 95 percent of rural Zambians don’t have access to energy.